Good morning. It’s overcast about 64 degrees, and there’s a 40 percent chance of rain in the weather forecast here in Dallas. But it’s doesn’t really matter because Seattle will be playing inside today.
Here’s five keys for the Seahawks as they try to win in Dallas for the first time since 2002.
Keep Tarvaris clean: The Seahawks have given up a league-leading 28 sacks heading into this one, and with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson still nursing a strained pectoral muscle, Seattle would be wise to give him the best protection possible against the likes of sack master DeMarcus Ware. Expect to see a lot of Zach Miller kept in to block and used in the quick passing game, as Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan likes to heat it up.
Take some shots: Similar to the New York Giants game earlier this season, very few people expect Seattle to win this game. All the pressure is on Dallas. Listening to sports radio down here there’s a lot of pressure on the Cowboys to right the ship in order to get back into the playoff hunt after their poor showing against Philadelphia last week. And Dallas is playing without starting corner Mike Jenkins, so Seattle should play free and aggressive, and try and get Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu and others down the field on some chunk plays.Run with the purpose: The Cowboys only give up about 100 yards per game, but Philadelphia ran for 239 yards against Dallas last week, and a lot of that came on inside zone runs when Dallas blitzed. So we’ll see if Seattle can do something similar and take advantage of the Cowboys’ aggressive nature. Seattle doesn’t have to run 40 times to be effective, but they have to get Marshawn Lynch involved in the offense early to create some balance.
Win the turnover battle: The Seahawks are going to have to get a couple turnovers defensively and take care of the ball offensively to have a chance in this one. The defense has played pretty well so far this season, but they have not consistently created turnovers for the offense.
Win the kicking game: The Seahawks have been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team in the kicking game. Special teams really cost them against San Francisco and last week against Cincinnati, but they need to show up and have an impact today. That means consistently wrapping up and making the tackle on punt and kickoff coverage units, and Leon Washington springing for a coupe big returns to affect field position.
Here’s my story advancing today’s game, focusing on Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes about Dallas pass rusher DeMarcus Ware and how Seattle will attempt to deal with him.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times offers some keys to the game.
Christian Caple of Seattlepi.com gives us five things to watch for.
John Czarnecki of Fox Sports offers his thoughts on the Seahawks-Cowboys game.
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas writes that the Cowboys added punter Chris Jones to the active roster from the practice squad, which means that starting punter Matt McBriar, questionable for Sunday’s game with a left foot injury, might not be able to go.
Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks to David Hawthorne’s father David Clark about his conflicting loyalties, being a Cowboys fan but rooting for his son.